Fibromyalgia is a condition of chronic widespread pain and and fatigue(feeling overly tired.) It can also lead to sleep deprivation, joint stiffness, difficulty swallowing, plus bowel and bladder abnormalities. In addition, it is frequently associated with psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress-related disorders.
A person may have one or more chronic pain conditions at the same time. These could include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis and vulvodynia. It is not known at this time, whether this disorders share a common cause.
Fibromyalgia is recognized as a disorder by the US National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology. There is controversy as to the cause and nature and Fibromyalgia. Dr Frederick Wolfe in a paper written in 1990, first defined the diagnostic guidelines for Fibromyalgia. He believes the causes are controversial and believes there are many factors that produce fibromyalgia symptoms.
The scientific community, estimate that Fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans 18 or older. Between 80 and 90 percent of people diagnosed with the disease are women. However, both men and children can also have the disorder. The majority of the people are diagnosed during middle age. People with other diseases may be inclined to have Fibromyalgia. The diseases include
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Spinal Arthritis. Women who have a family member with fibromyalgia may be more likely to have fibromyalgia themselves.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown at this time. There may be a number of factors involved. The condition has been linked to:
- Certain diseases
- Repetitive injuries
- Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents
- Shared genetic abnormalities
There is no single test that can fully diagnose fibromyalgia and there is debate over what should be considered essential diagnostic criteria and whether an objective diagnosis is possible. The NIAMS sponsors research to help understand fibromyalgia and to seek better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent it. Researchers are studying:
- Why people with fibromyalgia have increased sensitivity to pain.
- Medicines and behavioral treatments.
- Whether there is a gene or genes that make a person more likely to have the disease.
- The use of imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to better understand fibromyalgia.
- Inflammation in the body and its relationship to fibromyalgia.
- Non drug therapies to help reduce pain.
- Methods to improve sleeping habits in people with fibromyalgia.
Things you can do to combat the affects of fibromyalgia include:
- Getting enough sleep.
- Eating a well balanced diet.
- Making work changes if necessary
- Taking medicines as prescribed.
In order to treat or eliminate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, many doctors advocate adjusting your diet to obtain increased levels of energy and immune system enhancement. Though you likely suffer from a number of symptoms, if proper diet eliminates or eases one of those symptoms, it is worth the effort to try dietary changes as a treatment method.